Newsletter April 2020

News from Kisumu

  • Corona virus worldwide
  • Study trip Heerbeeck College: Expedition Kenya.

Activities

  • Christmas Heerbeeck College
  • Events Expedition Kenya
  • Christmas market ’t Stekske
  • Confirmation Langenboom
  • Vincentius Book Fair
  • Jumble sales

News from the board

  • Various kinds of gifts
  • Work visit Kisumu cancelled

News from Kisumu

Corona virus worldwide

Unfortunately we have to start this newsletter with bad news. By now the Corona virus has also contaminated people in Kenya. The government does everything it can to contain the virus: a huge effort in a country like Kenya. You will understand that we are very worried, especially about the vulnerable group of handicapped children. One of the first measures was to close all schools. For the therapy project this means that multiple handicapped children at boarding school have been sent home. Understandably, but for these children the circumstances are not really very good. Boarding school provided them with good, healthy food, they were cared for and lived fairly isolated. Now these children live close together, in small houses or huts and possibly not sufficient food. We will keep in contact and provide extra help wherever possible. Your support is very much welcome here! We wish you all but also our Amara family all the best in the time to come. 

 

Study trip Heerbeeck College.

February 15: finally the big day has arrived. After a lot of preparation we left for Kenya with a group of 7 students for an eleven-day visit. On the spot the students were introduced to all our projects. We did not stay there very long to prevent ‘bonding’ on the part of the Kenyan children. The students learned about Kenyan life and culture and helped at each of the projects. 

Care project

We visited St. Clare Children’s Home. We played with the children, had lunch together, painted the playground, tried to repair the washing machine and went to church with them. 

With the pupils of Hambale Primary School the students had had a video contact prior to coming and were now looking forward to really meeting them. We started with a wonderful walk in the hills around Kisumu while talking about each other’s culture and getting to know each other. We got a guided tour of the school and got to know Kenyan culture by means of food and habits and a wonderful theatrical performance at a very high level. We taught the children about our Dutch history, played old-Dutch games with them and then played with them on a great sports pitch. 

Therapy project

We visited the school for deaf and blind children in Awasi. After a wonderful opening we painted a classroom, handed out materials, closing with wonderful speeches and many dance performances. This visit made a big impression on the students. 

Sports project

Together with boys from football club Urusi we cleaned up the Flamingo quarter in the Manyatta slums. The students could have a look into the houses, without showers and with shared toilet facilities. We also played an exciting match and found out that we are not used at all to the sandy and stony pitches in Kenya. With two injured players we lost with penalties. Finally we could see a match in the Amara video hall where everyone from the quarter can come and watch football for an entrance fee.  

Help for Individuals Project

George, our welder, had already made sure, together with volunteer Henri, that the playground in the children’s home had been repaired so we could paint it. After a wonderful walk with the children of Hambale Primary School we went to have French fries at Francis and Sharon’s stall. 

The purpose was to get to learn from each other. I think that all 7 students have come back enriched. 

From here I would like to thank the students, their parents, the supervision, all contributors, sponsors and followers: thank you. But of course I also want to thank all the people of our Amara family who have made us feel so very welcome. 

For wonderful stories and pictures see our website. Our students have also written a diary on a daily basis which you can read on our website. 


Activities

St Clare Children’s Home

The covid-19 rules also apply to St Clare Children’s Home. All children must be sent back to their relatives. Sister Lucy does her best but it is not certain if she will succeed. She wrote us the following: 

Dear friends from Amara,
How are you? Corona Virus has infected us, so no movement. Gouvernement has ordered to close the schools. We are now calling guardians and relatives to come to pick their children. We don’t know they will be picked all. We are much scared and not knowing what to do next. We are with you always in our mind as we continue to fight against Corona Virus. Pray for us, we are in big troubles. 
Sister Lucy

 

Football club Urusi

All football in Kenya has stopped completely. No training, no competition, no broadcasting in our video hall. This means no income from broadcasting premier league matches. In the neighbouring

quarter of Urusi many people live in local mud houses. After the December flooding now this crisis. The neighbourhood was still rebuilding houses and now this cannot continue. We do not know how they can now get an income and food. 

 

St Francis Primary School

This always enjoyable  but ordered chaos of around 1200 pupils is all quiet now. The building is deserted. Also the  boarding school is completely empty. Students and teachers have returned to relatives all over Kenya. Every day Sister Linet and her order are praying at their convent that it will end well. They are afraid…just like many of us…

 

Christmas Heerbeeck College.

It has been a while but in December we could be present at various December/ Christmas markets.   In the staffroom of Heerbeeck College teachers could donate (part of) their Christmas presents. There was also a table with Amara products in the staffroom and both teachers and students had organised activities to raise money, including an article in the paper. So apart from the proceeds our name became well-known in the area. Thank you, Heerbeeck College!

 

Bingo

The bingo on Monday December 16 was a great success. It took quite a lot of preparation to ask presents from the shopkeepers and to prepare the bingo cards but finally we could start in time. After a few tips from the participants everything went smoothly. Also our home-made cakes were in demand which raised even more money. Shopkeepers and participants, thank you! 

On Monday January 13 there was an event at restaurant ‘de Buffel’ : the owner had opened the doors and came to work himself with two employees on the floor. The members of the expedition helped in the kitchen or at the tables. Almost 90 people were present. The food was excellent, a great ambience and top proceeds. Koen and employees of ‘de Buffel’ and of course the visitors, thank you very much!

Vincentius Book Fair

On January 24,25 and 26 the Vincentius Book Fair took place in Den Bosch. As main charity we were of course present with lots of help to load the stalls and arrange them for the sale. We had our own stall to sell Kenyan products which sold well while giving information about our projects. It was a wonderful market with lots of work done by volunteers. We want to thank all the staff of Vincentius and our volunteers very much. 

On Tuesday March 24 the official presentation of the proceeds was to take place. Unfortunately this has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, we have already received € 10,000 .

Christmas market ‘t Stekske

Also primary school ‘t Stekske paid attention to Amara Foundation. On Friday December 13 we could give a presentation in each class and could presents ourselves in a stall during the Christmas market. Thank you primary school and everyone that helped. 

Events: expedition Kenya

The 7 students from Heerbeeck College who joined the study trip, called expedition Kenya, organised events in December and January. 50% of the proceeds was for Amara, the other half was for their trip to Kenya. 

Confirmation Langenboom

The planned Mass of January 12 in the Holy Family Church on behalf of the confirmands and Amara Foundation was unfortunately cancelled due to illness of the pastor. He is feeling much better now. Also the confirmation itself on Saturday March 14 was cancelled due to the Corona crisis. The letters written by group 8 were sent to Kenya and were enthusiastically answered!    

Jumble sales

Sunday March 8 Lisanne was present at a jumble sale in Schijndel. In spite of growing concerns about Corona there were lots of visitors and it was a very successful day. 

Lisanne had already sold a few things via ‘Marktplaats’ . If you want to sell something on Marktplaats  on behalf of Amara you are welcome to do so. You can also contact us if you have something of value for sale. 


Agenda

There were various items on the agenda. Due to the Corona virus many of these items have been postponed or completely cancelled. So this time no agenda. 


News from the board

Various kinds of gifts

In the December newsletter we have informed you about the various kinds of gifts. Apparently the newsletter is read well because several friends of Amara have filled in the forms for a so-called periodic gift. Wonderful, because this means that we will be supported by them for five years! 

For those who have missed it: 

A PERIODIC GIFT IS A DONATION WHICH IS COMPLETELY TAX-DEDUCIBLE 

Friends of Amara fill in a form together with the Amara board called  ‘PERIODIC GIFT’. Amara can send it to you or you can download it from the site of the ‘belastingdienst’. There is a form for the sponsor and one for the receiver (Amara). You make an agreement with Amara that you will donate an amount to Amara for at least 5 consecutive years. How much you donate is your own choice (at least € 60 a year). You can give the bank an order for collection or transfer the yearly amount to the Amara bank account. The full amount is tax-deductible as specified in the agreement, which is an advantage for you. For the form go to belastingdienst.nl

 

Work visit Kisumu cancelled

Evelien and Carmen have been home for a few weeks now from Kisumu and the next board members had already packed their bags. On March 16 Maria and Lisanne together with Reana (granddaughter of Lisanne)  would leave for Kenya. However, we have had to cancel the trip. Which is a pity, but our safety and of the people in Kenya is more important. We wish the whole of the Amara family all the best.    

 

Thank you on behalf of the board and all the people in Kisumu

Lisanne Henuy-Rooijakkers – Evelien Hommes-Romonesco – Carmen van Bergen –  Maria Vermeer – Martine Plantinga

 

 

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